New York Rangers Survive Shark Attack: Now Wait on Trade Deadline Activities

New York Rangers, Artemi Panarin

It might be a little understandable if the New York Rangers looked a little flat on Saturday night. After playing for the fourth game in the past six days, and dealing with constant trade talk, the Rangers slipped past the San Jose Sharks by the score of 3-2. Igor Shesterkin stopped 44 saves to win for the seventh straight time. Artemi Panarin set up a pair of goals with passes that were beyond spectacular, and Jesper Fast broke a third-period tie with his second goal of the night. The Rangers won for the third straight time, the seventh time in their last eight games, and moved to 10-3 since the All-Star break. Also, the Blueshirts are now within four points of the final playoff spot.

Shesterkin magnificent in goal for the New York Rangers

The Rangers came out flat Saturday night against the Sharks, having outshot the Blueshirts 22-3 in the first period. It was pretty much the work of Shesterkin in the net that allowed them to survive the onslaught and regroup for the win.  In getting the win, Shesterkin became just the fourth goaltender in NHL history to earn nine wins through his first 10 career games. He is also the first NHL goaltender since saves were first tracked in 1955-56 to have four 40 or more save games, as well as four 40 or more save wins, in his first 10 career appearances. This has to be even a bit over the Ranger’s expectations when they brought him up and have tried to juggle the dreaded three goalie scenario.

What will the New York Rangers do at the trade deadline?

There are a couple of different scenarios that the pundits have suggested. The first, and the least likely is that the Rangers do nothing before the trade deadline and deal with the impending salary cap issues in the off-season. This scenario could happen as the Rangers are now in contention for a playoff run, and won’t do anything to upset the team chemistry that seems so strong in recent weeks.

So the next issue is Chris Kreider. If they do re-sign him, then almost every other player on the roster, with the exceptions of Panarin and Mika Zibanejad, would be on the block. Some players with higher price tags like Ryan Strome, Pavel Buchenvich, Brady Skjei, and Tony DeAngelo could be the players who are traded, to help deal with the salary cap implications of re-signing Kreider

If the Blueshirts cannot re-sign Kreider, he will most likely be traded, probably for a nice haul. This is the scenario that would seem to hurt the Rangers playoff chances the most as this would upset the team chemistry quite a bit. This becomes even more critical as the Rangers begin a stretch of four games against opponents in the thick of the playoff race in the Eastern Conference.

Live From Carolina: Did We See Chris Kreider’s Last Road Game With the New York Rangers?

New York Rangers, Chris Kreider

The New York Rangers survived a minor winter “storm surge” in North Carolina and as well as the Carolina Hurricanes themselves en route to a 5-2 victory Friday night. There were many of us in Ranger Blue present at PNC Arena in Raleigh, who was wondering if we were witnessing Chris Kreider‘s last road game as a New York Ranger. A large number of Blueshirt fans in attendance also witnessed Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanajed each scoring goals as Igor Shesterkin made 27 saves to lead the Rangers to their seventh straight road win.

Can the New York Rangers sign Chris Kreider to a deal?

On Monday, Pierre LeBrun of TSN reported that the Rangers and Kreider’s representatives were in serious talks to reach an agreement. At this point, it appears that the Rangers are making a strong effort to sign the 28-year-old forward to a deal. If they cannot sign him, he will probably be moved before the 3 PM deadline.

LeBrun also stated that the price for acquiring Kreider would be a first-round pick, a prospect, and some other piece. Some other piece could be a player, it could be a lower-level prospect, it might be a lower-level draft pick, and there might be a conditional pick in there, too, if the team could re-sign Kreider.

One of the projected teams that may have been very interested was the Boston Bruins. However, the need for Kreider became a little less critical for the Bruins when they acquired speedy winger Ondrej Kase from the Anaheim Ducks on Friday. What this could mean is that if Kreider stays, the Bruins might be interested in acquiring a lower cost forward like Pavel Buchnevich.

He may not command the same return as Kreider, but Buchenevich will still undoubtedly come at a steep cost for the Bruins if the Rangers deem him to be available, as he is currently ranked 28th on the TSN Trade Bait List. That price may be easier to stomach for the Bruins, however, given that Buchnevich carries a $3.25 million cap hit this season and next season.

This makes him more than just a rental for a Bruins team very much looking to capitalize on their aging core’s remaining competitive seasons. Kreider is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The left-wing has spent his entire career with the Rangers after he became the 2009 NHL Entry Draft’s No. 19 overall pick in the first round.

 

New York Rangers Steal a Win in Minnesota as Igor Shesterkin Sits With an Ankle Injury

New York Rangers

The New York Rangers took a victory from the jaws of defeat Thursday night when they rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the third period to defeat the Minnesota Wild in an overtime shootout.  Pavel Buchnevich brought New York within 3-2 at 11:51 of the third period, and Mika Zibanejad tied the game 3-3 at 18:54. The highlight of the game may have come in the overtime shootout when Artemi Panarin used a flurry of dekes to score on Wild goaltender Alex Stalock, which needed to be reviewed to make sure that Panarin followed shootout rules in scoring.

New York Ranger’s top goaltender sits with an ankle injury

Igor Shesterkin missed his start tonight due to the ankle injury he suffered on Tuesday in Winnipeg. Coach David Quinn described Shesterkin’s situation as “day to day” meaning he could possibly start Friday night in Columbus. Recently, Quinn doubled down on his earlier statement that “keeping people sharp is no longer a high priority of ours,” and unequivocally declared Igor Shesterkin the current No. 1 goalie. The ankle injury kept him from starting tonight but it was unlikely that Shesterkin would have started on back-to-back nights. Quinn didn’t rule him out for the second leg of this road back-to-back Friday night in Columbus. The 24-year-old rookie, who made his NHL debut Jan. 7, is 6-1-0 with a 2.18 goals-against average and .941 save percentage in seven games.

New York Rangers Head Coach Quinn very pleased with the character of the team

After the game, an obviously very pleased Coach David Quinn was quite impressed by the effort of his team in coming back from two goals to earn a hard-fought victory. “We just never quit. We’ve been talking about the belief we have in each other, and it continues to grow throughout the season. It was never more evident than it was tonight.”  Quinn also praised the maturity of his young team when he stated that: “Our team has come a long way. I think before you might have seen some panic and some pressing and some frustration. But I thought for the most part in the third period, we were calm on the bench.”

 

New York Rangers Lose to Buffalo; Enter Contract Talks With Chris Kreider

New York Rangers, Chris Kreider

Despite a furious rally late in the third period, the New York Rangers lost to the Buffalo Sabres 3-2. In doing so, they damaged their fleeting playoff chances and were exposed for their lack of physical play. That will make the upcoming contract talks with upcoming free-agent Chris Kreider all the more interesting.

Late New York Ranger rally falls short

The results were a bit surprising, as the Sabres had lost all four games after the All-Star break, including an overtime loss Thursday night to the lowly Detroit Red Wings. Mika Zibanejad and Kreider scored late in the third period to bring the Rangers within one, but that is all the closer they got. After the game, the head coach David Quinn was not too happy with his stars stating: “At the end of the day, our top players have to be way better than they were tonight.”

New York Rangers in contract talks with Chris Kreider

according to TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun, The New York Rangers and Chris Kreider’s representatives are expected to talk within the next couple of days. Most pundits believe that there is just a small chance that a deal gets done, but the Rangers are pursuing due diligence in making an effort to re-sign an important member of their team. The Rangers found out Monday what life without Kreider would be like when they lost to the Dallas Stars as their forward sat out the game after suffering an upper-body injury in last Saturday night’s game. Kreider is in the final year of a four-year, $18.5 million deal with the Rangers and is currently No. 1 on TSN’s Trade Bait Board weeks before the trade deadline. Even though he is listed as the number one trade target, many feel that the Rangers would not get enough in return to justify trading such an important piece of their young team, However, Kreider will be turning 29, and many wonder how good will he be in a couple of years, and will he be worth the price tag for the Blueshirts. Among the more interesting stats concerning Kreider is that among the 280 forwards that have logged at least 500 minutes of 5-on-5 ice-time this season, Kreider ranks among the top-60 in goals and points per 60 minutes played. Not something that you easily want your team to give up.

New York Rangers: Discover What a Chris Kreider Trade Might Look Like

New York Rangers, Chris Kreider

The New York Rangers got a glimpse of what their team might look like if Chris Kreider gets traded before the Feb 24 deadline. On Monday night, Kreider sat out of the Rangers game against the Dallas Stars as he continues to recover from an injury sustained when teammate Mika Zibanejad accidentally kneed him in the head. The Blueshirts missed the veteran as they lost to the Dallas Stars 5-3.

Kreider held out of New York Rangers lineup

Kreider did skate on Monday morning but was held out of Monday night’s lineup. Head Coach David Quinn said that Kreider was almost ready to return but needed a little more time. The Rangers did score three power-play goals in his absence, but the defense played poorly in the Dallas loss. This game did give the Rangers a taste of what life would be like if Chris Kreider is traded. Despite the three power-play goals, it was apparent that the Rangers did miss Kreider and physical play.  Kreider has been linked as a possible trade option with no less than eight different teams. After the game, head coach David Quinn indicated that he was close to returning, but apparently was being cautious with Kreider.

Injured Toronto Goalie could prompt trade with New York Rangers

On Monday night, Maple Leafs goaltender Fredrick Anderson was injured in a collision with Flordia Panther Frant Vatrano. This could be a massive blow to Toronto as Andersen headed into Monday with 24-9-6 record and a .910 save percentage.  He has often carried a heavy burden behind a dicey Leafs defense. Michael Hutchinson, Andersen’s replacement, provides little reason for optimism.

Alexandar Georgiev has been frequently mentioned as a trade candidate to back up Anderson. Still, his injury could expedite the process, especially after Hutchinson gave up three third period goals in the Maple Leafs loss to the Panthers. After the game, the Leafs stated that said Andersen is feeling better, but they were going to give him the night to see how he feels.  He went through the concussion protocol,  and the results were good, but the team wanted to be cautious.

Georgiev came in the third period to relieve Henrik Lundqvist and gave up one goal. After shutting out the Red Wings Saturday night, Lundqvist gave up four goals on 15 shots and was pulled.

Chris Kreider Injured, Trade News Buzzing as the New York Rangers Beat Detroit Again

New York Rangers, Chris Kreider

Saturday night was a case of good news and bad news for the New York Rangers. The good news was that the Rangers defeated the Red Wings 1-0, defeating the Wings for the second night in a row. That bad news was that Chris Kreider left the game with an apparent head injury suffered when he took an accidental knee from teammate Mika Zibanajed. 

The injury status of New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider

After the game, head coach David Quinn stated that his Kreider has an upper-body injury, and would not say it was a concussion. Despite this statement, replays clearly show that Zibanajed’s knee hit Kreider’s head squarely. Quinn stated that Kreider was doing well, and his injury will not be long term. It will remain to be seen if Kreider needs to undergo testing for a concussion, as determined by NHL protocols. The other possibility was that the knee to the head caused a bit of a neck injury, similar to what Zibanajed had earlier in the year.

Beach time did not hinder Lundqvist’s game

Quinn decided to start Igor Shesterkin on Friday night over Henrik Lundqvist because “One guy (Shesterkin) has been playing, and the other guy (Lundqvist) has been on the beach for the past nine days.” While that may have been a bit tongue-in-cheek, the rational paid off as Lundqvist recorded a shutout stopping all 33 Red Wing shots.  Lundqvist did note after the game about not playing in a long time when he said, ” It’s been a pretty tough month for me… You try to adjust to it, but in the end, you want to be out there and help the team.”

Trade Rumors Swirl pre-game

Right before the puck dropped, there were two pieces of news that could involve trades for the Rangers. The first was reports out of Calgary that there were going to be three Ranger scouts at the Flames-Oilers game. Both teams have been mentioned as possible trade partners with the Rangers, usually for Chris Kreider. Also, news came out of Toronto that Kasperi Kapanen was a healthy scratch in Saturday night’s game. Kapanen has been mentioned in trades involving Alexandar Georgiev. After the game, the Leafs stated that the scratch was due to “internal accountability.” Kapanen has also been mentioned in trades involving Wild defenseman Matt Dumba.

 

New York Rangers Overcome Slow Start, Bury Avalanche

New York Rangers

The New York Rangers are getting into a bad habit of having slow starts to games. However, they overcame their most recent slow start and defeated the Colorado Avalanche 5-3. In doing so, recently promoted goalie Igor Shesterkin picked up his first NHL victory.

Shesterkin Shines in Debut

Despite going down 2-0, Shesterkin showed resolve in only allowing one more goal after this. For the game, he stopped 29 of the 32 Colorado shots attempted. in earning the win, Shesterkin is one of only two Rangers goaltenders since 1979-80 who have earned a win in their regular-season NHL debut while playing at MSG. A solid debut for a young man who was quoted after the game as saying: “On the way to the arena my hands were shaking, I couldn’t even drink water. But as I stepped onto the ice, I felt everyone’s support and energy and it really helped me”  Head Coach David Quinn was quick to praise his goalie in post-game comments by saying he was impressed that he could  “To be mentally tough enough to pull himself together”.  Of course, this was due to the fact that J.T. Compher scored at 4:44 of the first period to give Colorado a 1-0 lead, and Nathan MacKinnon scored his 26th goal on a breakaway to make it 2-0 at 6:34. But to his credit, Shesterkin did not melt. he settled down after that, giving up just one goal on the next 29 shots. Igor Shesterkin became the fifth Rangers goalie in 40 years to win in his NHL debut. The others: Mackenzie Skapski (Feb. 20, 2015), Dan Cloutier (Jan. 3, 1998), Mike Richter (Oct. 19, 1989)  and John Vanbiesbrouck (Dec. 5, 1981).

Strong Offense Picks Up Soft Defense

The defense did not do a lot early to help their young goaltender.  The first goal was scored on a deflection and the second goal was scored on a breakaway. Not a great start to help out a young goaltender. But to their credit, the  Rangers bounced back.  Chris Kreider redirected a Ryan Strome‘pass through the five-hole on the power play to make it 2-1. Mika Zibanejad chipped in a loose puck from the slot under the arm of the Colorado Goalie to tie it 2-2.  Brady Skjei‘s huge slapshot from the blueline at 8:05 of the second period gave New York a 3-2 lead.  Colorado rebounded to tie the game but Strome’s fifth goal in the past six games gave the Rangers a 4-3 lead. Artemi Panarin added an empty-net goal to make the final score 5-3. So after some slow stretches, the Rangers’ studs are stepping up. Panarin has 10 assists and 12 points in the last six games. Strome has five goals and four assists in his last six games. Mika Zibanejad has 10 goals and 16 points in his last 12 games

The New York Ranger’s Mika Zibanejad Deserves to Play in the NHL All-Star Game

New York Rangers, Mika Zibanejad

The NHL announced on Monday that the New York Ranger’s forward Artemi Panarin has been selected to the All-Star Game. Fans will get a chance to vote for another deserving Ranger in Mika Zibanejad.  The NHL announced the candidates for the Last Men In selection.  Fans can go and vote for one more player to be selected for the contest, and Zibanejed has been placed on the ballot. Voting for the Last Men In opens Wednesday, Jan. 1, at 12 p.m. ET and closes Friday, Jan. 10, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Fans can vote at NHL.com/Vote or on a mobile interactive ballot on the NHL app.

Zibanajed has an All-Star Resume

We know Tony DeAngelo is not a huge fan of analytics, especially when it deals with Ryan Strome. But with all due respect to the Ranger defenseman, we need to dig into the numbers to make a case for Zibanejad. First, let’s take a look at his recent play.  Since Dec. 12, Zibanejad has seven goals in eight games, along with 13 points and five multi-point affairs. Just last Friday, he posted two power-play goals and an assist at even strength in a 5-3 victory over the Hurricanes.  For the season, he has 14 goals and 30 points with a plus-4 rating in 25 games.  Taking a look at 2018-19, Zibanejad scored 30 goals, 44 assists for 74 points in the 82 games played.  He is also considered one of the better two-way players in the NHL, as he is only one of 11 forwards this season who is averaging 2 minutes of power-play time and 2 minutes of shorthanded time.  Finally, let’s consider this stat: If we take a look at his most recent 82 games, Zibanejad has 37 goals with 47 assists for a total of 84 points. That makes him one of only 24 players who have averaged more than 1 point per game over that time period.

Of course, New York Ranger fans are very much aware of his skill set. This is to help you persuade friends and family to vote for one of our favorite Blueshirts. Even if he does not get voted in, there is a chance that he could also be selected to replace Alex Ovechkin, who has decided to skip the proceedings in order to rest his 34-year-old body. If so inclined, vote early, vote often and let’s place our well deserved forward into the NHL All-Star classic.

 

New York Rangers Show Grit In Almost Fully Recovering from Slow Start, Officiating In Edmonton Loss

New York Rangers, Brad Skjei

The New York Rangers did their very best to make sure the fine people of Edmonton enjoyed their New Year’s Eve. They allowed the Oilers to score six straight goals, including the first one, just eleven seconds in the game. They then almost accomplished what has never been done in NHL history: coming back from a six-goal deficit to win. The Blueshirts scored five goals in the final 20 minutes and 26 seconds of the game but came up short when the Oilers scored an empty-net goal to make the final score 7-5.

Why Did the New York Rangers Start So Slowly?

Given the comeback, not very many people wanted to focus on why the Rangers came out of the gate so sluggishly.  As apparent as it was that they were not ready to play, they may have become a bit shell shocked after the Oilers scored just 11 seconds into the game. After that, the Rangers seemed to lose focus. They played poor defense and took too many penalties and found themselves down 6-0.  This lead to goaltender Alexandar Georgiev repeatedly bashing his stick on the net and having Head Coach David Quinn pulling him. But it was not entirely all his fault. The Rangers were very aware of their inability to commit to playing defense, which includes being physical along the boards and in front of the net. None of this was seen for the first two periods of the game.

Head Coach David Quinn Very Frustrated with the Officiating

Part of the situation that saw the Rangers get down so quickly was the number of penalties they took. Not a good idea against the number one power-play unit in the NHL. Some of the penalties were legit, and some of them raised the ire of Quinn. The worst of these was when Ryan Lindgren was assessed an extra minor for slashing in a dust-up with Jujhar Khaira.  The Rangers were then slapped with a bench minor before the post-goal faceoff even occurred, as Quinn had a few choice words for the officiating crew. Quinn was frustrated after the game but kept his composure, hopefully assuring that he will not receive any additional fines for his displeasure with the officials.

Lost on all of this was that Artemi Panarin had four points while Ryan Strome, meanwhile, scored for the fourth time in four games and Mika Zibanejad for the ninth time in nine. But up and down the roster, players and coaches used one word to describe the comeback: character — something they will need to continue when they travel to Calgary for a Thursday night game.

 

Should the New York Rangers Trade Chris Kreider?

New York Rangers, Chris Kreider

Much of the news swirling around the New York Rangers this holiday season centers around the possibility that the Blueshirts would move 28-year-old winger Chris Kreider. But after watching him recently with linemate Mika Zibajenad, many wonder if this is a good idea.

The Case for Moving New York Rangers’ Kreider

The biggest motive in making the move is that Kreider will be an Unrestricted Free Agent after the season. Kreider does have a modified no-trade clause and carries a $4.625 million salary-cap hit. A couple of weeks ago, Kreider reportedly gave the Rangers a list of 11 teams that he would consider playing for. There are many that feel that the Rangers are unwilling to commit a lot of money to a player that was good but never achieved what many thought he would, even if it means alienating fans.

The second part of the equation is that if the Rangers are dead set on dealing him, is whether to do it now or wait until the trade deadline in February.  There seems to be quite a bit of interest in Kreider, who currently is playing very well. Trading him now will give the Rangers the chance to assimilate any new players on the team for a playoff push. However, the general thought is that waiting until the deadline makes teams willing to offer more in one last attempt to improve their team.  Creating bidding wars means that the Rangers can get the most in return for Kreider. In either scenario, with Taylor Hall off the market, Kreider is now one of the top targets of many teams.

The Case for Keeping Kreider

One of the biggest reasons for keeping Kreider is that he is a leader on the team and popular with teammates. An important consideration for a young team that has a fair chance to at least make a playoff run. Last year’s purge of popular players did not go well. After trading Zuccarello, Hayes, and McQuaid, the Blueshirts proceeded to go 1-6-5 over their next 12, which lead to a poor 5-11-5 finish. That would not be a great message for a young team.  Then there is the chemistry that Kreider and fellow linemate Mika Zibanejad have built up this season. He is also proving to be a leader to a team with many young players.  This may be what the Rangers are thinking as on the Hockey Night in Canada pregame show Saturday, Sportsnet reporter Elliot Friedman mentioned that Kreider is getting some interest but may not be available yet. It was also stated that the Rangers still have interest in resigning him.

The bottom line is that the decision to keep or move Kreider may hinge on whether the Rangers can stay in the playoff race. If the Rangers would falter before the trade deadline, the decision to trade him becomes much easier.